Spring cleaning is not just for your homes walls and windows. You should not overlook your fireplace during spring cleaning. Cleaning your fireplace annually is a must to keep it in healthy working order. The three main areas to focus on when spring cleaning your fireplace are the surround, firebox, and chimney flue.

Let’s take a look at how to spring clean your fireplace and what products will make it easier on you.

Cleaning the Chimney

To begin the spring cleaning process for your fireplace start with the chimney flue. Most fireplaces have a masonry chimney or a metal chimney flue that is easily cleaned with a brush and rod system. Before you purchase a brush and rod system make sure to measure the entire chimney. Start by measuring the flue opening and then measure the height of the chimney, this measurement is to ensure that you purchase enough rods to clean the whole chimney run.

Choose a chimney brush that will fit your flue opening exactly. In some cases you may need to purchase a brush that is a bit larger than the flue opening and trim it down to fit. You do not want the brush bristles to be larger than the flue because it will be difficult to push and pull the brush through the chimney. And you do not want the brush to be more than a quarter of an inch smaller than the flue because it will not adequately scrape the sides of the chimney flue.

The simplest way to clean a straight chimney run is to clean from the top down. You will have to climb on top of your roof for this cleaning method. Start cleaning by connecting the brush and two lengths of chimney rods. Place the brush into the flue opening and begin pushing and pulling the brush through the flue until you have come to the end of the rod reach. Add additional rods as needed to reach to the bottom of the chimney run and then start pulling the rods out, disconnecting them one at a time while removing them from the flue.

This cleaning method will leave all of the debris in the firebox so you now can move onto the next step of the spring cleaning process.

Spring Cleaning the Firebox

Once you have the chimney cleaned continue the spring cleaning process with the firebox by removing all of the ashes. To do this you should have a broom, shovel, ash bucket, and ash vacuum on hand.

Start by scooping as much of the ashes out of the firebox as possible with a shovel. Then use the broom to sweep out the small ash particles that were left behind. Sweep them into the shovel and dump them into an ash bucket to remove them without making a bigger mess.

Once you have gotten as much of the ashes out as possible with the broom and shovel use an ash vacuum to remove the ash particles that are left in the corners and joints of the firebox. An ash vacuum will get the job done without releasing a dust cloud into your home.